Bottle sterilisation and food safety are essential, but load shedding makes these two things difficult.
- Load shedding is challenging for everyone, but it can be particularly challenging for people with infants.
- An expert has shared tips to navigate these challenges.
- Keep your baby fed, warm and comfortable with these easy tips.
Parents often speak about the joys of parenting and pay little to no lip service to how daunting it is to face the reality of keeping a helpless human being safe and alive.
Babies are not only physically fragile, but caregivers must also handle their digestive systems with care. Especially in those crucial early days when their immune systems need all the help they can get.
This is why bottle sterilisation and food safety are essential, but load shedding makes these two things difficult.
“Load shedding can be quite a challenge, especially when you have a baby to take care of. Power outages and erratic load shedding schedules can really disrupt your little one’s routine and comfort,” said Ronald Govender, Dis-Chem Baby City FMCG Executive.
“Power outages and erratic load shedding schedules can really disrupt your little one’s routine and comfort.”
Govender shared a few practical tips and ideas for parents to ensure their baby’s comfort and safety during load shedding. He also hopes the information will help make power outages easier for parents.
Milk and Food Safety
The sterility of the baby’s milk bottles and food containers must be considered.
“As the stages of load shedding increase when the grid is overloaded, it’s worth considering a quick, easy sterilising machine, which steams and sterilises bottles in minutes and keeps them sterile for 24 hours with the lid on,” said Govender.
He advised using flasks to store hot water for milk and food preparations. Insulated bottle warmers are also an excellent tool to have on hand to help keep water warm when there is no hot water or kettle.
Having a manual or battery-powered breast pump and breastfeeding warmers on hand is also a good idea if you are breastfeeding.
“By having these supplies readily available, you won’t have to worry about running out of milk during load shedding.”
Feeding and baby essentials
Govender also advises familiarising yourself with food safety guidelines and the life span for different food items.
“This will help you determine the safety of perishable items during power outages.”
You can prepare and freeze individual food portions in advance and use small food storage containers to freeze purees or soft foods like mashed fruits and vegetables.
“During load shedding, these frozen portions can be thawed as needed and consumed within the safe period.”
Tips for baby’s comfort
Once you ensure the baby is safely fed and watered, consider the following things to ensure their comfort during load shedding.
1. Emergency lighting and power
“By investing in battery-powered lights or rechargeable solar lights, you can turn load shedding from a major disruption to a temporary inconvenience, ensuring your baby doesn’t wake up to darkness during power outages. Lighting provides a comforting glow and maintains a sense of familiarity, as well as providing a well-lit environment for changing and feeding, contributing to parents’ peace of mind and your baby’s comfort.”
You can also keep a supply of essential baby items such as diapers, formula, wipes, and medication in a designated basket in the room you’ll spend the most time in during outages.
Baby items marked with glow-in-the-dark paint can also easily be located during outages.
Keeping in touch in case of an emergency is essential when you have a little one, and power banks are important as backups for charging mobile phones. For parents who use baby monitors, battery-powered alternatives are available to help you keep an eye on your little one even when the power is out.
2. Quality Sleepwear
Layering your baby’s clothing is an easy way to keep them warm during this cold weather when heating is a challenge because of power constraints.
Items like rompers and sleep bags in breathable, all-natural fibre fabrics can help little ones regulate their temperature when sleeping so they are less likely to be disturbed by being too hot or cold. Caregivers can also use warm blankets for additional warmth.
3. Soothe and comfort your baby
Babies can sense your stress and anxiety, so it’s important to remain calm during power outages.
“Comfort your baby with gentle words, soothing touch, and familiar objects like their favourite blanket or toy. Your calm presence will help them feel secure.”
Issued on behalf of Dis-chem Baby City by GGi